Monday, September 29, 2008

Cohabitiation Agreements: Live Together and Lawsuits

Not exactly what I might want to highlight about cohabitation agreements, but the whole scope of living together with an agreement needs to be thought about. From The Madison County (Illinois) Record comes Live-in sued for violating 'exclusive' relationship - and not paying mortgage

Nicole Basarich has filed suit against Robert Lane, alleging he has failed to pay money for a mortgage and has violated their agreement of an exclusive relationship.

Basarich and Lane began living together on Feb. 13, 1992, and agreed to split expenses in half, according to a complaint filed Sept. 18.

During their cohabitation, they agreed to "be faithful to one another and that they would not engage in activities that would violate their exclusive relationship," the suit states.

Basarich claims they purchased a home at 900 N. Center Street in Collinsville, where they lived until June 2.

The balance of the mortgage is $47,000, according to the complaint.

Lane has failed to make any mortgage payments since June 2, the suit states.


In addition to the $85,000, Basarich is seeking an order against Lane that he be required to transfer whatever interest he holds in the Collinsville house and for any additional damages the Court deems just.

If the problem can still go to court, then why have a written cohabitation agreement?

Simply put: living together without an agreement leaves this kind of case up to the case law and a judge's discretion while having an agreement means that judge must do his best to enforce the agreement.

I would also say that an agreement that allows for the other party to pay attorney fees lowers the costs of enforcing a cohabitation agreement. Living together means there is no statute requiring payment of attorney fees by one side to the other. Without an agreement that has an attorney fee provision, you will be on the hook for your own attorney fees.

Why are attorney fees important? Read Marriage In Recession. I find some faults with the article about divorce but none when it comes to living together.

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